Toxins seem to be everywhere. How can we get rid of them, or at least reduce our exposure? The first place we can start is at home, where we have some control over the items we purchase and use.

There are some simple ways to reduce toxins in your house:

Start with the air

Not only do we add toxins to the air when we use scented candles and air fresheners, we often have windows closed and the air conditioning on. Try opening your windows twice a week for a few hours of airing out.

Get rid of all chemical-based air “fresheners” and use essential oils in a diffuser. Swap out wax candles with beeswax-based and non-toxic essential oils. Add houseplants (one in each room)  to purify the air naturally.

In the Kitchen

Cookware like Teflon contains toxins. Make the simple switch to safer cookware by reading the labels at the store. Look for a non-toxic brands or purchase glass or cast iron pans.

Open the Fridge

Do you store leftovers in plastic made with BPA? Try glass containers instead. Don’t buy bottled water from the store; instead, invest in a water filter and use reusable BPA-free bottles. I’m not going to get into food here. We all know organic is usually safer, with few or no chemicals used in cultivation. It’s always a good idea to choose organic food when you can.

Check your Cleaners

Baking soda, vinegar, and salt can be very effective cleaners. Mix baking soda and vinegar to clean bathtubs, toilets, sinks, ovens, pots, and pans. Baking soda is a gentle and effective scrub. Salt can be used as a scrub also. Lemon juice disinfects, as do essential oils.  There are many books and blogs with simple recipes you can make at home to clean your house top to bottom with zero chemicals! Worth looking into right?

Contemplate Cosmetics

The bathroom and beauty cabinet are the perfect place to start choosing organic. Why put nasty chemicals on your skin? We absorb about 60 percent of what we put on the skin, our largest organ. There are many choices in cosmetics nowadays. Read labels and stay away from perfumes, dyes, parabens, phthalates, BHT, DEA, and other questionable or known dangerous chemicals and additives.

Other Ways to Reduce Toxins in Your Home:

  • Purchase an air filter, especially if anyone in your family has allergies or asthma.
  • Take shoes off at the front door.
  • When buying new sheets and pillows, consider organic cotton.
  • Use PVC-free shower curtains so there’s no off-gassing.
  • Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter if you have carpets.
  • Choose a low VOC or, better yet, zero VOC emission paint if you repaint any rooms.
  • Make your own laundry detergent, choose unscented no-dye brands, or get a washer ball.

There are many ways to start removing toxins from your home. If this seems overwhelming initially, start slowly; the more you do, the more you’ll want to do. As you replace items, choose safer versions. Becoming aware of choices is the best way to start. Not only will your home be healthier, the planet will too.